Lex Davison sits in his Alfa while Tony Gaze looks on.
Lex Davison (Alexander Nicholas Davison, 12 February 1923 – 20 February 1965) won the Australian Grand Prix four times, the first to do so, between 1954 and 1961. The only other driver to win the event four times is the 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher). Drivers who win the Australian Grand Prix are awarded the Lex Davison Trophy. He drove HWM-Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Cooper-Climax grand prix cars, and set two records at the Rob Roy Hillclimb, the first in 1956 in a Cooper Vincent at 25.77 seconds, the second in 1957 in a Cooper Irving at 24.85 seconds.
Tony Gaze (Frederick Anthony Owen Gaze, OAM, born 3 February 1920) is a decorated World War II flying ace and racing driver who competed in World, Australian and New Zealand Grands Prix. He set a record at the Rob Roy Hillclimb at 28.88 in his Alta in 1938. He is the son of Irvine Gaze, a member of the Ross Sea Party who were preparing for Ernest Shackleton's expedition (Please see the CV story on the Ross Sea Party
). He was awarded the OAM for services to motorsport in 2006.Background
The Rob Roy Hillclimb
, Australia’s oldest purpose-built Hillclimb, was established in 1937 at Christmas Hills, Victoria. Hillclimbing, in which cars are driven uphill one at a time against the clock, is one of motorsport’s oldest events and was first held in 1897 in France.
Cut out of the bush, the Rob Roy course included an uphill, half-mile, graded dirt road. In 1939, the track was sealed and became one of only three bitumen-surfaced purpose-built hillclimbs in the world, the other two being the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott courses in the UK.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb attracted professionals, enthusiasts and amateurs, along with their often specially modified Bugattis, Elfins, MGs and Holdens, and has a special place in Australia’s motoring history.
Drivers who competed here include Jack Brabham, Harry Firth, Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Reg Parnell, Stan Jones, Lex Davison, Bill Patterson, Doug Whiteford, Peter Whitehead, Reg Hunt and Len Lukey, drivers who also tackled and in some cases vanquished the Formula One circuit.
In 1962, bushfires ravaged the Rob Roy course, and it lay in disuse for 30 years until the MG Car Club of Victoria secured a lease on the property and faithfully restored the track.Sources:
Leon Sims, A history of Rob Roy Hillclimb - 1937 to 1961 - The Hill, The Drivers, The Cars
. And, the MG Car Club of Victoria